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Best 22 and draft needs: West Coast


West Coast claimed their fourth AFL premiership overall and first in 12 years after defeating Collingwood by five points in a pulsating Grand Final, overcoming their MCG hoodoo in the process.

An incredible goal from Dom Sheed late in the final term ensured the premiership cup would be heading west after being written off by many at the start of the season.

The Eagles triumph was achieved without injured pair Nic Naitanui and Brad Sheppard while star midfielder Andrew Gaff served an eight-week suspension after his infamous hit on Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw.

Led by twin towers Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling, West Coast possess two of the premier forwards in the game, while Jeremy McGovern cemented his standing as one of the competitions best key defenders.

Elliot Yeo thrived in his new midfield role while Jack Redden and Luke Shuey elevated themselves to new heights – with the latter winning the North Smith Medal after an outstanding Grand Final display.

With Naitanui, Sheppard and the re-signed Gaff set to return, Adam Simpson’s side are well equipped to defend their crown in 2019.

Here’s what their best 22 looks like pre-draft:

B: Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Thomas Cole
HB: Brad Sheppard, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta
C: Jack Redden, Elliot Yeo, Andrew Gaff
HF: Chris Masten, Jack Darling, Liam Ryan
F: Willie Rioli, Josh Kennedy, Jamie Cripps
FOL: Nathan Vardy, Luke Shuey, Dom Sheed
Int: Will Schofield, Liam Duggan, Tom Hickey, Mark Hutchings

Note: Naitanui not included as set to miss most of 2019

Long term needs

West Coast’s list looks in great shape with several key players in the 24-to-28-year age bracket.

The Eagles’ premiership window is wide open and they loom as a force to be reckoned with for the next few years.

Young tall forward Oscar Allen is being groomed as a potential replacement for spearhead Kennedy - who turns 32 next season, while skipper Shannon Hurn (31) is also in the twilight of his career.

Geelong mature-age sensation Tim Kelly will once again be on the club’s radar after a deal couldn't be reached to secure the midfielder during the 2018 trade period.

Short term needs

St Kilda big man Tom Hickey was brought in as a replacement for departed premiership ruckman Scott Lycett, who sealed a move to Port Adelaide.

Hickey will have an opportunity to make an early impression with his new club as Naitanui continues to recover from his ACL injury.

Champion forward Mark LeCras announced his retirement after the Grand Final but the likes of Willie Rioli, Liam Ryan and Jamie Cripps should be capable of picking up the slack.

Their list profile suggests they have all bases covered heading into the 2019 season.

Draft picks: 20, 22, 61, 72, 75, 94

Who could they target?

With two first-round picks up their sleeve - thanks to a masterstroke pick swap with Gold Coast last year - West Coast could further bolster their list with an injection of youth.

The Eagles have priority access to exciting academy prospect Jarrod Cameron, the brother of Brisbane star Charlie, who impressed during the U18 National Championships and for WAFL side Peel Thunder.

Western Australian teenager and highly touted draft prospect, Ian Hill, is another local talent they would be monitoring closely.

best 22 and draft needs West Coast Eagles

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